WARRIORS Row: Mapeza hits back at charges he sidelined Europe-based players

WARRIORS Row: Mapeza hits back at charges he sidelined Europe-based players

By Sports Reporter

NORMAN Mapeza has hit back at criticism of his training methods and allegations of unfairly sidelining Europe-based players when he was recently in charge of the Zimbabwe Warriors.

The FC Platinum coach was recently in charge of the national side or the four-country tournament in Malawi last month which featured the home side as well as Zambia and Kenya.

According to The Herald, some Europe based players claimed that Mapeza unjustifiably sidelined them.

But the coach hit-back, saying some of the players were not ready for the senior national side.

“I did my assessments and saw that some of these guys are not ready yet to play for the national team,” Mapeza told the publication.

“I searched for information on all these players that came here. Apart from a few, they play mostly in the Under-21s.

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza

“What I may recommend is that we start them at the Under-23 level and we develop them from there. I tell you we will have a good team in the future.

Some of the Europe-based players called up for the tournament include Jordan Zemura who plays his club football in Italy.

The squad also included Tawanda Maswanhise of Leicester City, Sheffield Wednesday’s Joey Phuthi, Tivonge Rushesha, Shane Maroodza, and goalkeeper Marley Tavaziva of Brentford.

“They (the players) had come from the UK and some people were not happy they did not play. So, they look for stories,” said Mapeza.

He also rejected claims he employed “military” training methods which were attributed to sources close to Zemura.

The coach retorted; “How are my training methods military style when I have only been with these guys a few days?

“Maybe these guys have their certain way of doing things at their clubs. But I can’t follow the programme of his coach in Italy.

“This is a national team and we have only two to three days and I do what I feel is going to be good for these guys.”

The FC Platinum coach suggested there was a bigger agenda against him.

“They have their agendas which have nothing to do with football,” said Mapeza.

“At the end of the day, this is Zimbabwean football, it’s not about me. Maybe they have someone they want, who they can tell what to do and who to play. But that does not develop Zimbabwean football.”